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Global Irish Civic Forum

2017-05-07

Global Irish Civic Forum brings diaspora groups together in Dublin
More than 200 people from 150 organisations worldwide to took part.

More than 200 people representing 150 Irish diaspora organisations around the world are gathering in Dublin Castle today for the second Global Irish Civic Forum.

Among the topics up for discussion at the two-day event are proposals to extend voting rights in presidential elections to citizens living outside the State; the implementation of the Government’s diaspora policy, published just before the last forum in 2015; new emigration trends and the future needs of the Irish abroad; and how returning emigrants can be better supported.


Billy Lawless is an Irish businessman and independent politician, appointed Senator on 27 May 2016.

Senator Lawless is native of Rahoon, County Galway. He emigrated to Chicago in 1998.

He is a board member and co-founder of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) and Chair of Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform.

Senator Lawless has been credited with helping the cause of Irish immigrants and undocumented Irish in America, and was made Freeman of Galway City in 2015 for these efforts.

On 27 May 2016, Taoiseach Enda Kenny appointed Lawless to the 25th Seanad Éireann, becoming the first overseas Irish Senator.

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